Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Alexander City Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Alexander City AL. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Alexander City AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Alexander City AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Alexander City AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Alexander City AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Alexander City AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Alexander City AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Alexander City Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alexander City Alabama.